What had been the longest active losing streak in varsity college hockey is over.
The MIT women defeated Salve Regina, 3-2, on Sunday to earn their first win over another varsity Division III program in their five seasons of existence. The win snapped an 82-game losing streak, stretching back to MIT’s move from a club team to varsity level and entrance into D-III ECAC East in 1999.
The losing streak is also believed to be the longest in NCAA college hockey history, men or women.
The victory was the first at MIT for second-year coach Julie Sasner, the former assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic team, and former head coach at Wisconsin. Recent Princeton graduate Annamarie Holmes, a U.S. national team veteran, is in her first season as an MIT assistant.
The MIT victory avenged a 5-2 defeat against Salve Regina on Saturday. Only Saturday’s game counted in the ECAC East standings. MIT still has yet to win an official ECAC East game. MIT last defeated the Seahawks on Jan. 8, 2000, when it won 13-0. At the time, however, Salve Regina was in its last season as a club program before it stepped up to varsity.
In Sunday’s win, MIT led 2-1 after the first period and extended its lead to 3-1 in the final minute of the second period. The Seahawks outshot the Engineers, 28-7, over the last two periods but could not take advantage; MIT junior goaltender Regina Sullivan made 27 saves to preserve the lead. Sullivan, an ECAC All-Academic honoree last year, made 41 saves total.
The eventual game winner was scored by center Michele Verticchio, a graduate student and chemical engineering major playing her fifth season for MIT.